Story last updated at 3:54 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2002

Assembly addresses fire, harbor districts
Hal Spence
Morris News Service-Alaska

The boundaries of a fire and emergency service area created last year largely as a way to forestall Homer's attempt to annex surrounding territory must be redrawn now that the city's annexation effort has proved successful.

Though the city had sought more than 25 square miles of land, it acquired roughly 4.5 square miles mostly north and east of the municipality, land that was part of the Kachemak Emergency Service Area. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced ordinance 2002-20 Tuesday to re-map the boundaries of the service area excising Miller's Landing and areas on the bluff above the city that now are within the municipal borders. The ordinance also removes those areas from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Road Service Area. The city and the borough are working out details of a transition period over which the city will take over road maintenance duties in the new territory.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for the June 18 meeting in Soldotna. If adopted, its effective date will be retroactive to March 20, the date the annexation became state law. The assembly also introduced ordinance 2002-21, which would establish the Anchor Point Port and Harbor Service Area. The measure gets public hearings on June 4 and June 18.

If adopted by the Assembly, voters would approve the exercise of powers by the service area board and elect board members in the October municipal election.

The ordinance permits a property tax levy up to 10 cents per thousand dollars (.10 mill) of assessed property, with additional levies requiring voter approval.

The primary duty of the board will be to work with the Corps of Engineers and other agencies to fund and conduct a feasibility study on a proposed port and harbor and boat launch facility at Anchor Point. If the study establishes that such a facility is feasible and funding can be found to build it, the service area board would oversee its operation and maintenance.

If the feasibility study proves the project impractical, the service area would be dissolved, assembly members said.

<> Hal Spence is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.